Any tips before Orientation?

Cocoswims

Active member
Feb 15, 2017
32
Little Elm, TX
So, the build is done, the pool is full, and
start up is scheduled for tomorrow. Last step is Orientation and since I've read a lot of the Pool School threads and watched A LOT of videos, I'm wondering what to be mindful of during that phase. My PB has a retail store and so, I'm sure that I will be steered in the direction of products that they sell and away from BBB. What are some pitfalls to expect and, what would be some good questions for me to ask to really gain accurate knowledge? At this point, I don't even know what kit they are going to deliver so, I'm unsure about pretty much everything and I would appreciate any tips that you guys have to share. TIA!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
37,527
Tallahassee, FL
Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

This will show you what we use in our pools. There is nothing you HAVE to buy at the Pool $tore. It is all the same stuff under different names with the word pool in it.

Here is an awesome tool to help you know how much of each thing to add! There will be a slight learning curve so play with it a bit to learn it.

http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

Now here is the big boy! It is THE corner stone to what we teach here at TFP:

Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

Don't worry if you do not "get" it at first. I was VERY overwhelmed when I first found TFP. To the point I bought the test kit before I got the pool to make sure I could do it :roll: Turns out it is FUN and easy once you start doing it!

Kim:kim:
 

pabeader

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 14, 2015
4,349
Cartersville Ga
Ask lots of questions about the equipment and how it works. What valve does what. How to vacuum. That kind of thing.

Ignore the rest as almost everything else they will tell you will be for their benefit, not yours.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,412
Evans, Georgia
I would suggest you grab a Sharpie pen and mark all the water directions with arrows, and the purpose of each valve as the PB goes over them. (The Sharpie ink won't last forever, so also take a photo with your phone of the markings so you have record).

Yippee :flower:
 

Cocoswims

Active member
Feb 15, 2017
32
Little Elm, TX
Yes, that's what I thought. I guess what I'm looking for is, when he says "you need to use these Triclor tabs" or some other product that they sell and I say "no, I don't", how do I combat his sales pitch because, although I feel like I grew up testing the pool chemistry with my Dad, I really have never done this on my own and I now think that I didn't actually pay as much attention as I should have, I think I just enjoyed matching the dye to the strip. I'm afraid that he is going to tell me some b.s. about the chemicals that will sway me out of fear of ruining my pool. Ignorance and fear makes it easy for people to pray upon you. I'm really trying to educate myself so as to not go into this that way.

- - - Updated - - -

My Mom said that, too. Is that necessary with the app running everything
? I would think it would be because when technology fails, I still need to be able to deal with the pool but, some have told me that they didn't bother and it hasn't mattered. Ugh! I'm not used to feeling so ignorant.

- - - Updated - - -

Sorry, that last bit was for YippeeSkippy.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
11,431
Bedford, TX
Coco,

When he is talking mechanical issues, pay close attention and take notes if you need to.. I like the idea of marking the pipes and valves...

When he starts talking about chemical issues, just smile, and nod, and let it all go in one ear and out the other.

There is an old saying that goes something like this.. "do not argue with a fool, because if you do, he will bring you down to his level..."

Jim R.
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
Ask lots of questions about the equipment and how it works. What valve does what. How to vacuum. That kind of thing.

Ignore the rest as almost everything else they will tell you will be for their benefit, not yours.
Yes!

Pay attention to the equipment and take notes. You will likely benefit from them after he's gone. Come back here before you commit to buying any pool products, and we will happily help you out.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
37,527
Tallahassee, FL
Take and print out a picture of the equipment. Have a pen ready so you can write on the picture with arrows and names. ------> main drain kind of thing.

Chemicals-Take notes so he will think you are listening to him. Come back here and share what he said and we will point the errors of his way. You do NOT have to buy anything at this point as they should be doing the start up. Make notes about what he adds to the pool and how much.

Ask him how much stabilizer (CYA) he put in and where he wants the PH to be.

Will they be coming out after this or is it all up to you once they leave?

Kim:kim:
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,412
Evans, Georgia
Yes, you should mark the pipes so as you know which go *towards* the pool and which come *from* the pool. Valves that control water features, skimmers, drains, etc will at times be used no matter if you have automation or not. Vacuuming the pool is one example when you may close something or open something and you need to remember which.
Have him explain the multiport valve if you have one. If you do have one, get into the habit of only turning it in one direction which helps extend the lifespan of the gasket inside it.

Ask him specifics about what chemistry levels he wants to protect any warranty. Note them but they may not agree with ours, but you can figure that out later.

Yippee :flower:
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,122
Franklin, NC
Let him think you are his best student.

Don't bother trying to confront him and any methods of balancing he wants to explain. Confrontation is just going to cause him to push back. For warranty purposes find out exactly what he will be looking for. Many time they will require "pool store" testing once a month. Ask what his requirements are to maintain the warranty.

I didn't see a SWCG on your list of equipment, so how did he think sanitation was going to be acchived? While I follow TFP I do use tabs in a floater at times. To be honest, right now I'm on the beach in Antigua and I have two floaters in the pool with 3 tabs each. Why? Because if my My Stenner Pump stops working I want some chlorine in there. Plus, it's been a wet winter and my CYA is low anyway.

Please don't think TFP means we are "against" commercial pool products (OK, except maybe Baqua); we just want you to understand what each product brings to the pool. Once you understand the products, you are in control.

Once you
 

Cocoswims

Active member
Feb 15, 2017
32
Little Elm, TX
You guys have just been amazing with your willingness to help and share information. Thank you so much! I've made a list of all of your tips and suggestions, and I am prepared to take all of your very good advice so, please know that it wasn't offered in vain. :grin:We had start up today which was VERY EXCITING. Now that the 'lungs' of the build are open, and breathing, and the water is cycling and flowing, it feels like a real pool.

What an absolute dream come true for us, we've waited so long for this pool. Looking forward to keeping it beautiful and sparkling thanks to all of you experts. I'm so glad that I found this forum. 20170306_172448.jpg
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
37,527
Tallahassee, FL

Cocoswims

Active member
Feb 15, 2017
32
Little Elm, TX
It has been a blast helping you! The results are stunning!

Did you know you can become a supporting member? It gets you discounts on the test kit and at Swimming Pool Supplies, Pool Safety Cover, Swimming Pool Covers, Swimming Pool Pumps, Pool Pump Parts - INYOPools.com
as well as helping us keep the lights on for you and others!

Here is the link: CLICK HERE to Become a TroubleFreePool.com Supporter!!


I can't wait to see a pic of that beauty at night!

Kim:kim:




Thank you, Kim! I DID know that I could help support the group and have been planning a contribution but no, I didn't realize that I would get discounts for doing so. That's even more awesome!:) I am happy to contribute to such a helpful group and I am so grateful to everyone. It has been kind of an expensive week around here ;) but, look for me to do my part very, very soon! I have learned so much here, giving back is important to keep it going!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
37,527
Tallahassee, FL
SO how does it look at night with the pretty lights on and stars shining????

I look forward to seeing that pretty badge by your name when you can swing it. No hurry as I am sure the wallet is feeling a little light right now LOL

Kim:kim:
 

Cocoswims

Active member
Feb 15, 2017
32
Little Elm, TX
SO how does it look at night with the pretty lights on and stars shining????

I look forward to seeing that pretty badge by your name when you can swing it. No hurry as I am sure the wallet is feeling a little light right now LOL

Kim:kim:
Sadly, I don't love it at night. The landscape lights around the pool and decking help a lot but, we should have put in a light on the tanning ledge. I wish the PB had mentioned doing that. There are 3 lights along one side of the pool and another in the spa but, none of that light makes it to the ledge so, at night, it's a dark void. We've looked into add on's for a fix like changing the caps on the bubblers to caps with LED lights in them and I think that would help a lot but my husband doesn't agree that it needs something and they are a bit pricey. We have 'pool school' this morning and then we are out of town for the weekend so, I'm going to give it a minute before I really freak out over it. Also, we haven't learned to properly program the pool lights so, that might help some.

That said, I still can not believe that there is finally a pool in our yard so, overall, I'm still very grateful and happy just to finally have the pool, enjoy the sound of the water, etc... Life has a few curve balls. I've survived worse that this. It's not the end of the world. However, this is why people need the TFP forum BEFORE they build. Wish I'd found you all sooner! :blah::blah::blah:
 

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